By Judy Sheridan
Vandagriff Elementary third grade teacher Catharine Clay was named “Teacher of the Year” during the Marva Collins Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony honoring Aledo ISD employees May 6 in the Aledo High School auditorium.
Clay, chosen from a pool of 28 nominees, received a $10,000 cash award from the Reilly Family Foundation, the event’s major sponsor. An interview committee from Reilly judges all applicants for the award.
“My philosophy of education is to win my students over through their hearts, and then teach them like crazy,” Clay said in the event’s program. “This isn’t work, but time well spent in the building of relationships with students and their parents. I truly receive more than I give.”
Four other nominees, as well as school support personnel, received awards.
Before the ceremony, Superintendent Dan Manning, retiring this year, announced a $100,000 donation from the Walsh Family Foundation, with $50,000 to create a new Dan Manning Endowment Fund and $50,000 to add to the existing Don R. Daniel Endowment Fund.
“We acknowledge this gift with gratitude,” Manning told Malcolm Louden of Walsh Ranch, seated in the audience. “We believe teachers are the most important and influential people in the whole world.”
The awards followed an inspirational program where all the nominees profiled their roles as educators. The AHS Jazz Ensemble 1, directed by Jake Albin, kept the atmosphere bright and upbeat, while Aledo choirs, directed by Karen Paul, offered opportunities for reflection.
The $2,500 Faulk Company Award for “Secondary Teacher” went to Aledo High School Department Chair and AP statistics teacher Mary McLellan. It was presented by Dean Faulk.
McClellan reflected, with humor, that the lingo she picks up from her students helps her communicate with her sons about Twitter and frockets. “Where else do you get paid and have this kind of education,” she joked.
The $2,500 Hardick Family Award — “Intermediate Teacher” went to McAnally Intermediate sixth grade language arts/ESL teacher Dave Marcath.
“This nominee has a big heart,” Jim Hardick, the presenter, said of Marcath. “He cares a lot about his job.”
Susan Stirewalt, a Coder Elementary dyslexia teacher, received the $2,500 First Financial Bank Award — “Elementary Teacher” from presenter Mike Carter.
“I’m receiving this, but I’m representing all of the teachers and administrators who have encouraged me to move forward,” she said.
The $2,500 F. Howard & Mary D. Walsh Award — Beginning Teacher” went to Aledo High School technology applications teacher Lisa Abbett, who said teaching, her second career, is her passion.
“This is a profession that stays in your hearts,” she said. “I’ve never worked as hard as I have these past two years. It’s more demanding than the corporate world.”
Aledo Learning Center Principal Ron Miller won the $1,000 Don R. Daniel Principal of the Year Award, and Aledo Middle School Vice Principal Zachary Tarrant received the $1,000 Marsha Miholovich Professional Support Award, both funded by the Don R. Daniel Endowment.
The five support personnel awards were also $1,000 each.
Vince Matej received the VLK Architects Technology Award; Martha Ritter, the Buford-Thompson Company Transportation Award; Roddy McCurley, the Buford-Thompson Company Maintenance Award; Melissa Schneider, the Moritz/Hardick Child Nutrition Award; and Jenny Psota the Moritz/Hardick Paraprofessional Award.
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
SPRINGTOWN – After finding that a breaker manufactured by a company with a history of issues contributed to a house fire Friday, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott is urging Parker County residents with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers to call an electrician and get them checked for safety.
Candidates have filed for city, school board elections
Filings for May 10 city and school board elections are now complete. A summary follows:
On the Aledo ISD school board incumbents David Davis, in Place 6, and Hoyt Harris, in Place 7, have both filed for re-election, each drawing one or more opponents. Farida Goderya has filed for Place 6, opposite Davis, and Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers have filed for Place 7, opposite Harris.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce will welcome retired USAF SMSGT Vernon M. Anderson, Jr., senior technical instructor, Bell Helicopter, Integrated Operations Engineering Support Technical Training Department, as the key note speaker for the March 12 luncheon.
The Sunny Side
WILLOW PARK – Peppered with anecdotes from his stellar baseball career, former Texas Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg gave witness to his Christian faith and told how it changed his life before a crowd of about 200 at the recent annual Trinity Christian Academy dinner and fundraiser.
Aledo ISD approves suicide prevention program
The Aledo School Board approved the LifeLines Suicide Prevention Program in February, lining up with a recommendation from the Student Health Advisory Council, which has spent a year reviewing choices.
Aledo ISD could save up to $2 million
Expecting to save close to $2 million, Aledo ISD trustees recently voted to let district staff pull the trigger on a bank-qualified refunding of some of the district’s outstanding bonds once market conditions are optimum.
Don't feed the deer!
HUDSON OAKS — The city council recently passed an ordinance banning the feeding of deer.
Parker County Sheriff's Report Feb. 27-March 2
Burglary of a vehicle
Deputies were dispatched to the 300 block of James Street in Aledo shortly after 6 p.m. regarding the burglary of a vehicle.
ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Is it too early to start a vegetable garden?
Considering our winter temperatures this year, that’s a good question. When it comes to a successful vegetable garden, timing is everything. The goal in Texas is to have most of your vegetable crops mature before the temperatures soar in mid-summer.
EXTENSION NEWS: Getting more zzzs could help you lose some lbs.
We spend about one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Sleep also helps our immune system to resist illness and disease, increases response times in emergencies, improves our mood and feelings of wellness and gives us the energy we need to be more active and alert.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Breaker, breaker!